Pediatric Drugs

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 303–310

Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy

Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Management

Authors

    • Department of Pharmacy Practice, McWhorter School of PharmacySamford University
    • Department of Neurology, College of MedicineUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
Review Article

DOI: 10.2165/00148581-200608050-00003

Cite this article as:
Welty, T.E. Pediatr-Drugs (2006) 8: 303. doi:10.2165/00148581-200608050-00003

Abstract

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) is a common epilepsy syndrome that begins most frequently in the early teenage years. It is officially classified as a type of idiopathic generalized epilepsy and is often under-recognized or misdiagnosed. This syndrome has a strong genetic component with multiple gene mutations being associated with the clinical presentation. Based upon genetic associations, there may be multiple pathophysiologic mechanisms for the disorder; the pathophysiology has not been clearly defined.

A diagnosis of JME is made using the clinical history and EEG findings. Valproic acid is the primary antiepileptic drug (AED) used for JME, but some newer AEDs may be effective alternatives. Selection of an appropriate AED is essential to the proper management of JME, because of the possibility of exacerbation of seizures by some AEDs and the adverse effect profiles of effective drugs. It is important for clinicians to understand JME to correctly diagnose and manage patients with this syndrome.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2006